EU state blames poor sales on rain
Retail sales in Denmark during July plunged the most since the Covid-19 pandemic, with economists blaming record rainfall for weak consumer spending, Statistics Denmark reported on Monday.
Seasonally adjusted retail turnover fell by 4.4% compared to the previous month in the biggest decline since the spring of 2021, when lockdowns hit consumption. Rainfall broke a 92-year record in July, according to the Danish Meteorological Institute.
“This meant that many Danes went abroad for a holiday but it can also have prompted others to reduce consumption,” Soren Kristensen, chief economist at Sydbank, said. “A decline of this magnitude is outright concerning,” he added.
The economist also pointed to other negative figures, such as the falling consumer confidence index.
Data released last week showed that Danish consumer sentiment worsened for the first time in 10 months, as accelerating inflation made households more pessimistic about the economy and their personal finances.
Denmark’s inflation rose to 3.1% in July after the government reintroduced electricity taxes, which pushed bills higher, causing “some uneasiness among consumers,” according to Palle Sorensen, chief economist at the financial services company Nykredit.
“The low consumer confidence is a little worrying in relation to the economic development. The negative view on the economy can affect consumption,” he cautioned.
Meanwhile in Norway, retail sales in July dropped the most since the start of the year, by 0.8% on a monthly basis, with a slide in grocery trade leading broad-based declines, the statistics office in Oslo said.
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